Meat on a stick. You can’t beat it with…um…a stick. I’m dubbing this summer the unofficial Season of Skewers.

The great things about grilling kebobs, kebabs, or skewers (take your pick) are 1.) they take no time to cook, and 2.) they take so well to marinades.

In a Greek kind of mood? Whisk some lemon juice, oil, garlic, and oregano, and douse your favorite food. Jones-ing for little sumthin’-sumthin’ Asian style? I feel you. Whip up some peanut sauce, massage it into chicken chunks, and you have dinner.

Even veggies get kicked up when paired with halloumi cheese and slathered in a kickass harissa glaze.

So dig out your metal, wood, or cast-iron skewers from the drawer, clean that grill, and serve up food the way summer demands: on a stick.

The word "David" written in script.
An eggplant kebab on a tortilla with fresh spinach, garlic sauce, and cabbage.
Nina Olsson
1 of 4

Eggplant Kebabs

These eggplant kebabs are marinated and grilled, tucked into a pita, and smothered with a tangy garlic sauce and assorted veggies. It just happens to be vegan although if you don’t mention it, folks, the meat-eaters among you may forget.
Two grilled scallop kabobs on a blue oval platter with a dish of dipping sauce on the side.
Kristin Teig
2 of 4

Grilled Scallop Kabobs

These easy grilled sea scallop kabobs are briefly marinated in oil, garlic, and sumac, then grilled and served with a smoky scallion dipping sauce. An easy summer entree.
Sheet pan beef skewers piled on a foil-lined baking sheet with a dish of white sauce and lemon wedges.
David Malosh
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Sheet Pan Beef Skewers

These sheet pan beef skewers are a quick and easy meal from Melissa Clark. Beef sirloin is marinated in oil, garlic, and fragrant spices, skewered and quickly broiled, and served with a cilantro and mint yogurt sauce.
Four grilled vegetable skewers with harissa-marinated halloumi.
Mowie Kay
4 of 4

Grilled Vegetable Skewers

These grilled vegetable skewers with harissa-marinated halloumi are made with pieces of grilled pepper, mushroom, asparagus, and onion interspersed with chunks of grill-friendly Greek cheese tossed in a spicy paste. Here’s how to make them.

Skewer FAQs

Can skewers be reused?

If you’re using metal skewers, then yes, give them a good cleaning after each use, and they’re safe to use again and again. Wooden or bamboo skewers are single-use only and should tossed after using.

Do wooden skewers need to be soaked?

Yep. Wooden skewers should be soaked for at least 30 minutes before use. This prevents the wood from burning while the food is cooking.

How do I make sure my food cooks evenly on the skewer?

Don’t pack the pieces of food too tightly on the skewer. Leaving a little space between each piece of meat will allow it to cook evenly.

Turn your skewers several times during cooking to encourage even browning. A pair of tongs is the best tool for this. Don’t want to barbecue your fingers.

These recipes offer plenty of options for an easy skewered meal, and feel free to use them as a guide and get as creative as you like. Choose your favorite marinade, like this easy Greek marinade, a quick-cooking protein, and an assortment of veggies, and load up your skewers. What’s your favorite combo?

A metal plate with chunks of cooked turkey, a turkey kebab, and a dish of cucumber salad.

5 Best Skewer Recipes

5 from 1 vote
Looking for a healthy kebab recipe that's perfect for summer? This simple, fresh, and healthy meal of marinated ☞ GRILLED TURKEY KEBABS WITH CUCUMBER SALAD doesn't require you to turn on the stove or oven, making it perfect for hot summer days.
David Leite
Servings6 servings
Calories346 kcal
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Resting Time3 hours
Total Time3 hours 30 minutes


For the turkey kebabs

  • 3 pounds boneless turkey (white or dark meat), cut into 1 1/2-inch (8-cm) chunks
  • 2 (7-ounce) onions, grated
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar, rice vinegar, white wine vinegar, or verjuice
  • 1 tablespoon ground sumac
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil or mild vegetable oil
  • Sea salt, to taste

For the cucumber salad

  • 3 cups peeled Persian or English cucumbers, cut in 1/2-inch (6-mm) cubes
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried mint or 1 tablespoon torn fresh mint leaves
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground sumac
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt, or more to taste

To serve (optional)

  • Cooked rice
  • Assorted chopped fresh herbs, such as basil, cilantro, mint, or parsley


Make the turkey kebabs

  • At least 3 hours before you want to grill, pat the turkey dry. In a large bowl, combine the turkey, onion, vinegar or verjuice, and 1 teaspoon sumac and stir to fully coat the turkey.
  • Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 5 hours.
  • About 30 minutes before you want to grill, remove the turkey from the fridge. Preheat a charcoal or gas grill over medium heat to about 400°F (204°C).
  • Slide the turkey pieces onto skewers, leaving ample space between each piece. Discard the marinade. Lightly brush with oil and sprinkle with a little salt.
  • Grill the skewers, turning frequently, until the turkey is lightly browned and cooked through, about 15 minutes. Partway through cooking, sprinkle with 2 teaspoons sumac and another generous sprinkle of salt.

Make the cucumber salad

  • While the turkey is cooking, place the cucumbers in a serving bowl.
  • Sprinkle with the mint, sumac, and salt and toss to combine. Taste and adjust the seasoning, if needed.

To serve

  • When the turkey is done, pile the skewers on a platter. Serve with the cucumber salad along with and rice and herbs, if desired.
Taste of Persia cookbook.

Adapted From

Taste of Persia

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Serving: 1 servingCalories: 346 kcalCarbohydrates: 8 gProtein: 50 gFat: 13 gSaturated Fat: 2 gMonounsaturated Fat: 3 gTrans Fat: 0.1 gCholesterol: 122 mgSodium: 569 mgFiber: 2 gSugar: 4 g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe?Mention @leitesculinaria or tag #leitesculinaria!
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About David Leite

I count myself lucky to have received three James Beard Awards for my writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. My work has also appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.

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